3D printing has just come closer to manufacturing clothes that actually drape around the human body and don’t sit like a sculpture around it.
The dress by design studio Nervous Systems is composed of 2,279 individual triangular pieces joined together by 3,316 hinges which make the fabric flexible and allows garments made from it to drape comfortably on the wearer.
Nervous System was founded in 2007 by Jessica Rosenkrantz and Jesse Louis-Rosenberg. It’s probably a unique and creative combination of their skills acquired as MIT graduates that have led them to come up with designs that, in mimicking nature, have come closest to materials that can be worn comfortably. Rosenkrantz holds degrees in biology and architecture and Louis-Rosenberg majored in mathematics. Their designs are based on shapes and forms appearing and developing in nature.
The studio used their design and manufacturing method called Kinematics to manufacture the first Kinematics dress. The Nervous System website describes Kinematics as a system for 4D printing that creates complex, foldable forms composed of articulated modules.“Practically, Kinematics allows us to take large objects and compress them down for 3D printing through simulation. It also enables the production of intricately patterned wearables that conform flexibly to the body.”
The Museum of Moderns Art has acquired the dress along with the software that was used to create it for their permanent collection. The studio explains: “Bodies are 3-dimensional but clothing is traditionally made from flat material that is cut and painstakingly pieced together. In contrast, Kinematics garments are created in 3D, directly from body scans and require absolutely no assembly. We employ a smart folding strategy to compress Kinematics garments into a smaller form for efficient fabrication. By folding the garments prior to printing them, we can make complex structures larger than a 3D printer that unfold into their intended shape automatically.”
Make your own
Nervous System sells jewelry, household items, lighting and generative puzzles and also makes available apps for users to make their own creations, including printable dresses.
The studio has made available the Kinematics app that allows users to create their own necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Items created with Kinematics can be printed in polished 3D printed nylon in a variety of colors by a third party. For people who already have their own 3D printer or have access to one, the studio provides the Kinematics @ Home app that allows download of an STL file for home printing.
Users can use the studio’s clothing app, Kinematics Cloth to design their own printable dresses. By exploring intricate formations that appear in nature and combining this knowledge with computer graphic and mathematics Nervous System has come up with a concept that has given the world its first 3D dress and that might just be the beginning point of a revolution in 3D printed clothes. All that’s needed is a different material than nylon for even more comfort.